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Historic Walking Tour of Boone
Item 15 of 18
The Boone City Cemetery is one of the oldest in Watauga County. The cemetery is nestled between Howard Street, Brown Street, Cone Hall and the parking lot behind Plemmons Student Union. Many leading citizens of the community are buried within its confines, including D.D. Dougherty and B.B. Dougherty, who founded Watauga Academy in 1899 (which would later become Appalachian State University), Dr. Walter Jones, his son John Walter Jones Jr., and wife Mattie Jones, and Manly and Martha Blackburn to name a few.

  • Near the back of the white section of the cemetery.The chain-link fence that separates the white section of the cemetery from the black section can be seen in the background.
  • This is a view from the black section of the cemetery of the gate that one must walk through to get between the two sections of the cemetery.
  • One of the two remaining headstones in the black section of the cemetery.
  • The second of the two remaining headstones in the black section of the cemetery.
  • The main entrance gate to the white section of the cemetery off of Howard Street.
  • Photograph of the Town of Boone Cemetery, AC.112: Watauga County Historical Site Survey Records, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Since 2014 the Junaluska Heritage Association (JHA) has been working to gain assistance from the Boone Historic Preservation Commission in order to protect and preserve the east portion of the cemetery off of Howard Street that is known by locals as the black section in the old town cemetery. The main entrance to the white section is adorned with a black iron gate between two stone pillars and is fenced in entirely. In the back of the white section of the cemetery is a chain-link fence that opens up to a grassy field – the black cemetery.

The black cemetery, previously known as the old Jordan Councill Cemetery, includes more than 75 Junaluska members, early graves of slaves, and the graves of three military veterans. The Town of Boone has since taken over management of the cemetery, and both sections are now called the Town of Boone Cemetery.

Jordan Councill, the man for which the cemetery used to be named, owned the largest number of enslaved people in Watauga County during the 1800s. He donated the land for both the white and black sections of the Boone Cemetery and researchers suspect that he owned a significant portion of the land where the Junaluska neighborhood now stands. Junaluska is the only remaining African American community in Watauga County, North Carolina and the Junaluska Heritage Association is a community-based organization that was formed in 2011 to preserve cultural heritage and assist in community growth. The JHA works to help record and preserve the unique and rapidly eroding history of Junaluska and its surrounding area.

As of 2015, the Town of Boone manages both the white and black graves within what is now officially referred to as the Town of Boone Cemetery. 

“Update: Junaluska Heritage Association Requests Signage, Fencing of Black Section of Cemetery off Howard Street,” published Thursday, June 19, 2014, High Country Press, accessed October 25, 2016, “Town of Boone Cemetery,” Junaluska Heritage Association, accessed October 25, 2016,